[ As a precursor, this collection of short stories will be snippets of my character's life, completely out of order. I enjoy writing in random order, so that context clues come together later on down the line. ]
“You seem to love this; do you even want to be free?”
A sharp breath is shocked with an onslaught of chilled air. Eyes as piercingly blue as their imminent surroundings, speckled with red shards of encroaching sickness, peel towards the sun as suppressed thoughts are slapped away with the unexpected billowing of relentless Northern winds. The high places of capped peaks and ancient crags are no place to be led during a hunt; Hjolmir’s father would scold him for his stupidity.
The well-maintained blade deftly cuts into the carcass as breath fades with the last lights of life. A Nord should always keep a blade on him; another piece of wisdom left by the hardy man’s father, even if his wisdom was repeating common sense. The real lessons in life are taken without warning. Surgical precision comes easily, even as harsh climates batter the weathered hunter. His mind begins to wander elsewhere; a reprieve is easily found in the sweet memories of summer. These are the only things he has left now.
His favorite places were dwellings of warm air and soft canopies; the harsh landscapes of Skyrim never truly suited Hjolmir. Sun would pierce through the foliage, kissing his skin with radiant warmth while the generous shade keeps the heat from becoming overburdening. High Rock is where his dreams wander, shielding him from the cold. Even then, the game was far livelier; his knife found purchase in bountiful deer with far more enjoyment than the sinewy prey he snuffs now. Unfortunately, what his soul yearns for most is rest, and his troubled mind keeps any such fancies from coming to pass.
If his wife were still around, she would be able to ease his restless soul. Only the dirt knows her embrace now.
“Please…” Harsh breath wheezes from the sliced lungs as the female’s earthen eyes grow cold with sudden indifference, blinded to the world now. Blood flows from the Nord’s knife, splitting arteries where needed. His rustic beard is painted crimson as the starving male hunkers over his prey, drinking from his game with ravenous hunger. His thoughts wander again; finding peace in his abominable new life becomes more difficult with each passing day.
It’s difficult to feel sick to your stomach when the iron taste becomes so satisfying. He knows his sanity will leave him next, yet his constitution and will to fight the urges slowly slips away. Praying to Stendarr does nothing for the souls of his victims; nothing can. Still, he prays with a heavy heart to no avail. Only Molag Bal answers his pleading, but not with a warm reassurance.
“I’m sorry.” His breath comes ragged, gasping to fill his lungs with the crisp air as winds whip at his ragged clothing. On shaking legs he stands, leaving the corpse lying in the snow. "It's either you or me. You have to be realistic about these things."